Reader Appreciation

photographer: Charles O’Rear, courtesy of National Archives and Records Administration

Reading is a relatively solitary endeavor. We curl up with a good book, folding into ourselves, and often shut out the outside world.

Of course, we have literature classes, book clubs, goodreads.com, and a variety of other outlets to analyze narrative structure, discuss plot and character, and to share our overall passion for what we are reading.

But in general, unless we are reading aloud to our loved ones, reading remains a rather individual, private act.

my reading mug

I can’t remember exactly why I decided to start my blog on reading at the beginning of the summer. Something to do with wanting a different creative outlet and also wanting to dip a somewhat private toe into the online waters. But I’ve been very touched by the warmth of the blogging community, bibliophiles and non-bibliophiles alike.

When Neil from “My Pretzel Logic” told me that he nominated me for The Reader Appreciation Award, I was not only very flattered (Neil is an amazing writer – his style is so seemingly effortless, so natural, that even when he writes about something lighthearted such as singer-songwriters, I admire the words he chooses) but I also started to think about what these blogging awards meant.

Why do we bestow these little awards?  I guess it’s just because it’s nice to know someone is reading what we’re writing.  Despite loving the solitary act of reading a great book, this blog has allowed me to “meet” some very fun, interesting people; follow some fascinating, beautiful blogs; learn a lot about subjects I would never have thought about; and reminded me that we all have our own crazy individual passions!

All the blogs I follow are great but here are my 5 nominations for this award:

  1. Storyteller:  Ray’s blog is aptly named as he is a storyteller indeed. He will post one of his stunning photographs, add a few words or a short essay, an engaging title, and a beautiful tale will have been spun.  He is a true artist.
  2. Hands on Bowie: This blog is about Bowie the cat (that’s Mr. Bowie to us) but it’s much more than that. Mr. Bowie and Herman (the man behind the photographic lens and, I assume, the one who does the the typing for Mr. Bowie) contemplate life and pose philosophical questions with ease and humor.  I read each post with a smile on my face.
  3. LeapingTracks:  A music lover who has decided to re-engage with her musical tracks one by one. In each post, she discusses a song or an artist she loves; introducing us to a band or reminding us why we love a particular Mozart concerto.  It’s such a lovely idea, and I always look forward to her new posts.  My morning breakfast dance hasn’t been the same since.
  4. Librarian for Life: Jennifer is a 2nd generation librarian (this is very cool in my book, pun intended). Her blog focuses on all things library and book related.  Being an obviously gifted librarian, she is very apt at rooting out fascinating articles on a plethora of subjects varying from bookshops in Berlin to a father and son retracing the steps of Odysseus. Her second blog, reel librarians, on librarians in film, is equally interesting and worth checking out.
  5. The Argumentative Old Git:  As the blog title suggests, Himadri holds strong opinions (although he’s neither old, nor a git!) –and I love reading about them.  He mainly writes about literary matters (my most recent favorite was a scathing review of a BBC adaptation of Shakespeare’s works). But he’s very open to comments –in fact, I often find his dialogue with his commentators to be as fascinating as the posts themselves. A witty, engaging writer.

Part of accepting the award is to tell you 7 things about myself….

  1. I recently saw the Indian singer Raghu Dixit in concert and now often listen to him while making dinner. I recommend his Unplugged (Live in York) album. Here’s a video from his website: click here for vimeo video.
  2. I love snow. I love waking up to a snowstorm. The quiet enchants me.
  3. I like to paint (I’m not particularly good at it but I don’t think you have to be good at everything you do in order to enjoy it).
  4. I was recently nominated for the Liebster blogging award by Suletta http://suletta.com/ She just moved to Zanzibar from S. Africa to set up a dairy farm with her family. I love her blog as she writes about her adventures on the farm as well as her favorite author, Paulo Coehlo.  Thank you the nomination, Suletta!
  5. I prefer swimming in a lake than swimming in the ocean.
  6. For all you dog lovers out there, I recommend Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley – his journey across America with his standard poodle, Charley. (A good book even if you aren’t a dog person).
  7. Conveniently, my dog just woke up from her nap and has asked me to feed her giving me an excuse to end this list…. Happy blogging and happy reading!

73 thoughts on “Reader Appreciation

  1. Congratulations!! And oh! I just loved “Travels with Charley”. Read it a few months back… His sentence formations were so amazing that I just wanted to write the whole book down in my note book, and quote it all!! Great job again!! 🙂

  2. Congratulations on the award!

    I found it interesting that you love waking up to a snowstorm. I love waking up to thunderstorms. Perhaps for the same reason? It’s the perfect excuse to stay inside and read.

    Sunny days almost feel like pressure to me. My mother always made us go outside and play when when we were kids. All I really wanted to do was read. Even now I hear her voice in my head when it’s sunny, “You’re not going to sit inside and waste this beautiful day.” So when it storms, or rains, or snows — nirvana. Pressure’s off, and I get to do what I really wanted to do all along.

    • Waking up to thunderstorms is great too, I agree. Although as my house is surrounded by trees, it’s a little less relaxing 🙂

      It’s so interesting how sometimes reading is viewed as anti-activity. Perhaps because it is quite isolating. On the next sunny day, we should all go outside, sit under a tree with our families and read together!

  3. Dear Letizia, congratulations on your fine award.
    Thank you very much for nominating my blog. I really appreciate it. It’s a pleasure knowing I can put a smile on your face with my posts. Comments like this keep me going.

    • Thanks! I don’t know why I was thinking of snow in the middle of August (it’s not even very hot today) but am delighted to hear someone else loves it too!

    • thank you!

      I don’t know about your swimming abilities but I know you can write because you always come up with wonderful captions for your beautiful photographs (unless Rusty the squirrel is the one writing them!) 😉

  4. Very cool. So. I went to your link to see how to pass on the honor you gave me and the first picture I see was made by Charles O’Rear. Chuck is an old and dear friend of mine. You’ve made my day. Twice. — Ray

    • How incredible. What a small world it is. The photo is so beautiful: the light, the angle, the intimacy despite the locale. It really made me stop and think. Very much like your own photography does!

      Have a great day, Ray 🙂

  5. Congrats to you too, Letizia! I completely agree about the blogging family. I find myself bringing up what someone said in a blog like it was a conversation I personally had with them. In the end, I’m glad you started this reading blog as well. It is a delight.

  6. Pingback: Thank you « LeapingTracks

  7. Well done, Letizia! I love the name of this award! It should be presented by writers! You reading experience describes a writer’s experience in writing the book you read. It’s a beautiful sentiment thinking about how personal a book really is. An individual writing for an individual reading– that says it perfectly.

    Any good writer is an avid reader and any good writer puts readers at the front of his/her thoughts when preparing a manuscript to present. It should be done, not for agents or publishers, but for readers! Love your blog!

    • It’s true, writing is an equally solitary, private act. I hadn’t thought of that as I focus so much on the reading aspect.

      Thanks for your kind comments, Dannie (looking forward to reading your book which I just ordered – I decided to start with ‘In Search of a Soul’!)

      • Thank you, Letizia. It wasn’t my intent to sell a book, but I’m excited that you picked one my best. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it. What a great response you get to your blog. I’m impressed! I shall be reading your other post.

  8. Letitizia, congratulations and thank you for sharing the blogs above. It’s always fun to see where your curious mind travels with this blog. I feel like a flea on a hobo’s sack! (To get into the Steinbeck frame of mind.)

  9. I agree – reading is a solitary adventure, one I’ve been doing since I was a little girl. I love your thoughts on the blogging community. I am so thrilled when someone comments on a post. After reading your post, I am now following the blog written by the woman who lives in Africa and the photographer/writer in New Orleans. Thanks for sharing!

    • I’m so glad you’re following Suletta and Ray’s blogs – they are great! That’s what I like best about these awards: the chance to shine a light on great blogs that maybe someone else hasn’t had a chance to come across yet.

      I like what you wrote about enjoying reading since you were a little girl – I think for so many of us, this love has started as children. I love seeing children come out of a library books in hand 🙂

  10. Hello Letizia, thank you for your very kind words: I really do feel quite flattered!

    Like yourself, I really have been touched by the warmth and the general air of goodwill in the blogging community.

    A post will be going up on my blog quite shortly on 7 things about myself! (And no – I won’t mention that I enjoy a good argument, as that’s public knowledge already!)

    All the best,
    Himadri

    • You are most welcome, Himadri. I love reading your posts and knew that others would love to hear about your blog!

      I look forward to reading the 7 things about yourself (I found it surprisingly difficult to list 7 things!).

      I hope you’re enjoying the end of the summer,
      Letizia

  11. Pingback: A bit of self-revelation « The Argumentative Old Git

    • Thanks!

      I bought the mug on a website called cafepress.com

      But I live in the U.S. right now so am not sure the store exists in Australia or ships there (perhaps google the phrase on the mug and see if it comes up in any store in Australia?)

  12. Pingback: Reader appreciation, happy happy « Librarian for Life

  13. thanks for your like on my post…let me ask you if you have read some of my suggestions, especially Cecília Meireles, ‘Cânticos’…I made some traduction / translation of this work and I would like to read your traduction of cântico VII in special (I can send to you through blog)…and I want to comment that reading is a solitary work, and writing too…even when reading or writing with and for children and other people…the reading and writing moment is one, unique, out of the outer world…a sweet solitude. Warm regards. Walter

    • Thanks, you are so sweet! I’ve actually stopped accepting and writing about awards now, but I really appreciate the nomination and love your blog so can’t wait to check out your other nominees and what you wrote about yourself (you always have such fun and thoughtful ideas!).

      • Oh, well I think I cannot stop myself from giving you such a worthy award. You are very deserving! Thanks for your kind words. I am actually not sure where those crazy thoughts came from – I just put them all in writing.

  14. So true that for the most part reading is a solitary activity and we shut out the world while doing it. I think that’s part of what I crave with reading, an escape of sorts.. Happy reading, dear friend ❤

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